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Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the GOP's vice presidential nominee in 2012, was still defending his recent comments about inner-city culture this week, when he appeared on Fox News and told host Bill O'Reilly, "I don't have a racist bone in my body." Ryan was responding to criticism he drew after saying earlier this month, during an interview with conservative radio host Bill Bennett, "We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work. There is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with." Some accused Ryan of using racist -- or racially loaded -- rhetoric. Ryan replied that he had been "inarticulate" but was not "implicating the culture of one community" -- that is, African Americans. Yet his interview with Bennett was not the first time that Ryan, a potential 2016 presidential contender, had given the impression that inner-city poverty was linked to the supposed cultural deficiencies of minority Americans.
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